Dr. Joe Dupris, CU Boulder Visiting Assitant Professor in Linguistics and Ethnic Studies, recently gave the final presentation for the 2022-23 Indigenous Studies Seminar series hosted by the American Philosophical Society. His seminar focused on historical and governmental processes of detribalization as they impact efforts of Indigenous language revitalization, and as they eclipse discourses on language endangerment as satisfactory explanations for language loss. Through his presentation, Dr. Dupris gave audience members the background to understand that revitalization is a theoretical lens used by language workers to effect change in the world through collective actions, not the object of language research itself. He expressed the need for language research models to consider multiple scales simultaneously, all the while providing explanatory accounts for language ecologies, material realities, and political processes. The research paradigm he developed and illustrated centralizes tribal consent and engagement in language projects, and serves as an alternative to the colonial legacies of western linguistic inquiry.
Dr. Dupris (Klamath Tribes; Modoc, Klamath, Paiute, and Lakota ancestry) is part of the third generation of language revitalization practitioners in his home community of Chiloquin, Oregon. He received his joint PhD in Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Arizona.